Former Australian cricketer and renowned coach Dav Whatmore will be coaching the Kerala team in the 2017-18 domestic season.
The 63-year-old Whatmore, who coached Sri Lanka to the World Cup triumph in 1996, will be helping the southern state, which has been struggling to make an impact in all forms of domestic tournaments, including Ranji Trophy, over the years.
The Aussie, who had also been in charge of various national sides including Pakistan, said he was looking forward to the challenge of working with the Kerala team.
“I like challenges and it would be good to work with a team that has found it difficult to match expectations,” he told PTI here.
Kerala Cricket Association President B Vinod said they were delighted to rope in Whatmore, whose contract will be from September 2017 to March 2018.
“He is a marvellous coach and has worked with various international teams and helped them win laurels,” Vinod said.
Currently based in Chennai as consultant with Sri Ramachandra University (SRU), which has collaborated with his cricket academy — Trucoach-Whatmore Centre for Cricket, the former Aussie cricketer said apart from training the senior (Kerala) side he would also be working with the junior teams in an effort to streamline talent.
About how the association with Kerala came about, he said, “I had been in touch with former KCA president T C Mathew, who had been asking me to come on board for a long time and it has finally happened.”
Kerala had a below-par 2016-17 Ranji Trophy campaign in which they managed just one win from nine matches and coach P Balachandran was sacked as head coach mid-way.
In the shorter formats too the team didn’t do well, finishing fourth in the South Zone Inter-State T20s and failed to advance to the knockout stage of the Vijay Hazare Trophy (50 overs).
Whatmore said the idea is to help the team improve and perform well consistently, apart from developing young players with an eye on the future.
“I know it will be a challenge but I am ready for that,” he said.
Whatmore said the months between June and August are not so good for cricket in Kerala with the monsoon rains and the plan was to have the senior and junior teams train in Chennai at the state-of-the-art facility at SRU.
Stating that he had a stint with the Kerala players a couple of months ago, Whatmore said he was looking forward to meeting them soon.
He felt there was a lot of talent in the State which was needed to be channelised.
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